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Fuel Your Workout with 5 Elements of Effective Fitness

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Fuel Your Workout with 5 Elements of Effective Fitness

You put in hard work at the gym, and you want to see results. We all do! There are few things more frustrating than crushing your workouts day after day only to see your progress plateau.

Exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Achieving optimum performance from your body requires a comprehensive approach that includes workout fuel and physical exertion.

To that end, here are 5 ways to fuel your workout both inside and outside the gym.

Fill up with premium workout fuel

All elite athletes know that food is fuel. If you want to see gains in the gym, be discerning about what you put in your body.

Fill up on nutrient-dense foods that give you the biggest bang for your buck: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (like nuts, avocados, and olive oil), and protein.

Stay away from excess sugar, salt, and trans fats. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then, but cookies and other junk snacks shouldn’t be a part of your everyday diet.

A healthy diet also includes adequate hydration — and that means drinking water, not soda or juice. While some people stick to the 8×8 model (8 8-oz glasses of water per day), everybody is different. For most healthy people, 4-6 glasses a day is sufficient, especially if you’re already eating foods that are water-rich, such as salad and fruits.

Lastly, make sure you eat enough. If you’re trying to build muscle, you need extra workout fuel!

Whether you have a tendency to over- or undereat, a diet tracker like MyFitnessPal can help you keep your calorie intake in check.

premium fuel

Eat plenty of protein

Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our body, and are vital workout fuel for muscle growth. Eating enough protein gives your body a positive nitrogen balance, putting you in an anabolic state, which allows you to build muscle.

Conversely, a negative nitrogen balance puts you in a catabolic state, which means your body is actually breaking down all that hard-earned muscle for energy!

To ensure you get enough protein throughout the day without a surplus of calories, shoot for 30-40 grams at each meal. Eggs, meat, fish, milk and soy are all good sources.

Keep in mind that it’s not just what you eat, but when: It’s ideal to ingest lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and vegetables) about two hours before exercising.

And post-workout protein is critical. Depending on your body weight, you should aim for 20-50 grams of protein within an hour after an intense workout. (That’s why you see so many athletes pounding protein shakes as they walk out of the gym.) THRIVE FIT BUILD, designed for your daily pre-, during-, and post-workout needs, has over 25 grams of premium grade whey and casein protein isolates that helps support that lean muscle mass you’re working for.

protein

Exercise your heart

In addition to building muscle, it’s important to include aerobic exercise into your routine. It helps keep your blood pressure in check, improves your good and bad cholesterol levels, and increases insulin sensitivity.

Cardiovascular exercise also increases your body’s natural ability to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that causes vasodilation — a relaxing of the inner muscles of the blood vessels, which causes them to widen and increase circulation.

This is important because it allows blood, nutrients, and oxygen to reach every part of your body efficiently. THRIVE FIT CIRCULATE is great for your pre-workout or daily endurance needs. It helps elevate nitric oxide levels and provides increased cardiovascular support.

exercise your heart

Take time to recover

The human body is amazing: When it experiences stress, it starts a biological process that allows it to deal with and recover from that stress, then adapt so it is better prepared to handle that stressor in the future.

That’s why recovery is a crucial part of a healthy fitness routine. The stress of lifting weights causes your muscle tissue to tear and break down. It’s when you stop lifting that your body repairs them, making them stronger than they were before.

So go ahead and take days off from the gym! Or at least alternate muscle groups each day (work upper body one day, lower body the next) to give those muscles a chance to recover. Additionally, you should think of workout fuel before, during and AFTER your workout. THRIVE FIT RECOVER can help support your metabolic recovery with a specially engineered blend of protein-to-carbohydrates ratio that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

take time to recover

Get some rest

We’re all busy these days — sometimes too busy, which means something has to give. And usually that thing is sleep.

Sometimes it’s inevitable (like when your child gets sick at 3 a.m.), but many times we miss out on essential sleep for no good reason at all, choosing instead to watch the next episode of our favorite TV show or scrolling through Instagram.

Make sleep a priority, just as you do with exercise.

Shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it as much as possible, and sleep in a cool, dark room. Avoiding caffeine late in the day and screen-time before bed will help.

get some rest

Following these guidelines will help you improve your overall health — and get more out of your time at the gym. We’re now introducing the first three products from the THRIVE FIT product line: THRIVE FIT BUILD, RECOVER and CIRCULATE. Add THRIVE FIT to your fitness routine to boost your performance even more!

Five Fall Warm Drinks You’ll Love

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Five Fall Warm Drinks You’ll Love

Temperatures are finally beginning to fall, which brings a bevy of seasonal warm drinks to your favorite coffeehouse. Not only are those drinks expensive, they’re often loaded with sugary syrups and other additives that can derail your nutrition goals in a single cup. The great news is that you can make your own versions of your favorite fall warm drinks at home. Not only will you save money, you’ll love the convenience of being able to whip up one of these cozy drinks any time you want with these simple recipes:

Thrive Café

Tear open a packet, empty it into your favorite mug, add water and heat. You’ll enjoy an amazing Creamy Mocha Flavor along with added benefits that a cuppa joe can’t deliver. Thrive Café is based on a formula that provides antioxidant support and supports appetite management, energy and clarity with a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fruit extracts. For more information, visit the Thrive Café page.

THRIVE Cafe

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

Pour ½ cup freshly made Thrive Cafe into your favorite mug, then add 2 drops peppermint extract, 1/3 cup nonfat milk and 2 tablespoons dark chocolate syrup. Yield: 1 serving.

Peppermint Mocha

Hot Vanilla Milk

Warm 1 cup milk on the stove or in the microwave. Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and 1 tablespoon sugar. Yield: 1 serving. For source, click here.

Hot Vanilla Milk

Warm Apple Cider

Add 4 ½ cups filtered water, 3 cups chopped organic apple (about 3 large apples), 2 to 3 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the container of a blender, secure lid, and start on low speed. Slowly increase to high speed and blend for 6 minutes. The mixture heats in the blender, so serve immediately. Yield: 5 servings. For source, click here.

Warm Apple Cider

Vanilla Chai Tea Latte

Combine 2 cups water, 2 peppercorns, 3 whole cloves, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, ¼ teaspoon ginger and 1 cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for at least 5 minutes. (The longer you boil, the more the spices will release their flavor). Turn off heat, and place two black tea bags in the water. Steep for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Heat ½ cup milk in microwave on medium heat for 15 seconds. Stir into tea and serve. Yield: 2 servings. For source, click here.

Vanilla Chai Tea Latte

THRIVING for Pink

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
THRIVING for Pink

Behind every success story is a “why” – a greater purpose. For Stephanie Rodriguez, a 12K Le-Vel Brand Promoter, that “why” was her own mother, Terri, whose breast cancer diagnosis three years ago inspired the entire Rodriguez family to dig deep and find hidden reserves of strength. Along the journey, Stephanie discovered an opportunity that would allow her to support her mother’s treatment and remain by her side when it mattered most.

Stephanie Rodriguez and family

The story begins in August 2015, when Stephanie’s mother, Terri, learned she had breast cancer. She spotted a lump during her own self examination, which lead her to discovering she had breast cancer during an exam at her OBGYN. “She always believed in being self aware in taking the steps to get checked. It was how she was able to detect the breast cancer early on,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie’s entire family rallied behind Terri, cutting their hair in solidarity when she began chemotherapy in October. Stephanie took on three jobs to help support her mother and her family throughout the duration of her mother’s chemotherapy treatments. “I was worn out and wiped out,” Stephanie recalls. “I got to a point where I was clocking in and out of work, as well as doing the same in my personal life.”

A co-worker at one her three jobs introduced Stephanie to THRIVE in January 2016 “at a time in my life when I of course needed energy, but more importantly, needed to be present for my mom.” After Stephanie experienced the health benefits of THRIVE first hand, she began sharing the products with others and soon realized the potential of the business opportunity not just as a means of income generation, but also as a way to be more present for her mother through the ability to set her own working hours. Stephanie soon was able to quit two of her three jobs and focus on Le-Vel. She had a newfound flexibility to drive her mother to her chemotherapy and radiation appointments, which continued through early summer 2016. By October, Terri’s treatment was complete, and the family was cautiously optimistic.

Stephanie Rodriguez

Then, in January 2017, a routine exam revealed that Terri’s cancer had returned. “Everyone was shocked,” Stephanie says. At that point, Terri opted for a bilateral mastectomy, then began her second round of chemotherapy in July, followed by reconstruction surgery in January 2018.

“The ‘it’s back again’ moment was one of the biggest hurdles our family overcame,” Stephanie says. “It brought back a lot of the memories and fear, but our mom chose to overcome it and keep going day by day. She stood strong for other people, and her faith radiated through her, which helped our family not give up on hope so we could overcome it, as well. Our whole family was able to grab hold of her strength.”

Stephanie also leaned on her Le-Vel business and fellow Brand Promoters to make it through those darker times. “You don’t always want to share this vulnerable part of your story, but you need to so you can meet the needs of someone else who needs to hear it – it wasn’t easy being there for my mom, taking care of myself and trying to get to the next rank of the company. But now, after witnessing my mom’s persistence, I feel like I can accomplish anything in business.”

Stephanie Rodriguez

In July 2018, Stephanie reached the 12K auto bonus earner rank in her Le-Vel business. When asked how she feels about the company’s continued support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and a cause so close to hear heart, she says, “It’s so amazing what Le-Vel is doing to help create awareness for others in need. The cause that they’re supporting is funding the same resources, people, technology that helped my mom. It’s incredible. My mom encourages others to be proactive about getting exams and making it a priority as well as using the resources that are out there. It was how she was able to detect her breast cancer as early as she did.”

Stephanie and Terri Rodriguez

“Even though my mom inspired me, I had to inspire myself, too,” she continues. “We’re not always going to have people to inspire us right when we need it. I used a vision board when I needed to lean on myself for support. It’s not about where you are, it’s about where you are going. That is what pulls you out of hard times, as well. Fighting cancer, or supporting someone fighting cancer, is mentally exhausting, the last thing you need is a physical setback. Without THRIVE, I don’t know how I would have been able to be there for my mother. We need to give ourselves permission to be the best version of ourselves and to go into what we do every day, whether that’s mom, a manager, as our absolute best selves.”

Terri Rodriguez

“No matter how long it takes, don’t give up on your dreams because it’s worth it when you get there. Stay plugged in and show up because if it’s right, it will happen for you. Your victory is right around the corner – you just can’t give up. THRIVE helped me come out of my shell and show my true self. It gave me the confidence I needed to share my light with the world. As leaders, we need to lead by that example. It was ultimately my mom’s faith that kept her going and I learned how to grow through the tough moments in the way that she did. It’s so important to persist because you become a better person through it all. We both grew through our perspective on what’s important in life.”

Stephanie and Terri Rodriguez

Today, Terri “is healthy and healed and joyful. Her hair is back, and she’s back. All of our family’s hair is longer, and our faith is stronger. Our lights shine bright together.”

Terri Rodriguez and husband

“Fighting for what you want is going to get you to the next level of your life,” Stephanie adds. “For Mom, it was about health and happiness, for us as a family it was about accomplishing dreams, and for me, it was the freedom that comes along with achieving my goals with Le-Vel.”

Best Pre-Workout Snacks for Energy

by Le-Vel 0 Comments
Best Pre-Workout Snacks for Energy

Depending on the time of day you work out, you might need a little fuel to get going, especially if you’re hitting the gym after a long day at work. Pre-workout snacks for energy prior to working out aren’t a must, though. In reality, most of us will do just fine without them. But, if it’s been two to three hours since your last meal or you’re just feeling sluggish, then you might benefit from a snack before your exercise routine – as long as you make a smart choice.

avocado toast and berries

About 30 minutes before your workout is the best time for a pre-workout snack. Aim for a combination of protein and carbohydrates – especially carbohydrates. Keep it small, you don’t want to eat so much that your body is diverting energy to digestion while you’re trying to make it through that spin class. Here are a few suggestions for smart pre-workout snacks that will give you a little boost without weighing you down.

  • Greek yogurt. Jackpot! Greek yogurt contains protein and carbohydrates, so you kill two birds with one stone. Note: Read labels. A lot of fruit-flavored Greek yogurts are loaded with sugar, as are the varieties that incorporate chocolate chunks, candied nut clusters, and the like. Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is the way to go.
  • Apple with nut butter. If you haven’t tried this combination, give it a shot – you’ll love it!
  • Rice cake with nut butter. Also delicious.
  • Thrive Plus FORM in Berry or Orange Mango. Sequential Gel Technology from Le-Vel, along with proprietary Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, supports post-exercise recovery and repair, strong bones and joints, lean muscle mass and weight management, plus firm and healthy skin.
  • Granola bar. Not just any granola bar. Not all varieties are created equal, as you know. Read labels and choose one with as few ingredients as possible. Thrive Pro Bars are a great choice. Each bar is packed with 20 grams of sequentially delivered protein and only 2 to 3 grams of sugar.
  • Packet of plain, unsweetened oatmeal. Cooked with low-fat milk.
  • Peanut butter protein balls. Check out this simple and delicious recipe
  • Pumpkin pie energy balls. Everything’s pumpkin spice this time of year, right? Read recipe.
  • A banana or orange.
  • Avocado toast with or without chopped egg on top.
  • 1 or 2 hard boiled eggs with a serving of fruit.
  • Cheese stick with whole-grain crackers.
  • Carrot sticks and hummus.

THRIVE Plus FORM

Now you’re set with the best pre-workout snacks for energy. As always, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.